Oklahoma Leaders Speak About Announced Nitrogen Gas Execution Method

OKLAHOMA (KFSM)- Oklahoma state leaders announce that nitrogen gas will now be the state's primary method of execution, making it the first state inthe country to do so.

Executions have been on hold since the botched executions of two inmates almost four years ago.

Nitrogen induced hypoxia will be used to execute inmates on death row.

"After a couple of breaths, the individual loses consciousness," Joe Allbaugh with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections said.

The executions of Clayton Lockett in 2014 and Charles Warner in 2015 were considered traumatic deaths, some saying the cocktails used in the lethal injections caused, "unnecessary pain before death."

The state put executions on hold after that.

Attorney General Mike Hunter said since he's been in office, he's worked to find an alternative to lethal injections and said this is the next step following a bill passed in 2015.

"If lethal injection is held unconstitutional, or is unavailable, an execution shall be carried out by nitrogen hypoxia," Hunter said. "We are exercising that option."

But there are those who don't agree with the proposed protocol, even though nitrogen is cheaper and easier to get.

"It`s justice to execute someone only if you see justice as retribution," Don Heath, pastor said. "The victims, to me, are just brought out by the proponents of the death penalty for moral validation of their cause."

Hunter said using nitrogen gas is the best way for Oklahoma to resume executions, but it will still need to go through courts and could take months before it goes into action.

Several people including the ACLU and reverends around the state have also voiced their opinion in opposition of this decision.